How to Get a College Scholarship

When the average cost of a college education in the US is as much as $30k, it’s well worth considering college scholarships.

But aren’t they really difficult to get?

It all depends on how you approach the application. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to creating a winning scholarship application.

Start Early

There’s no reason to wait till the last minute to apply for a scholarship. In fact, that’s probably the worst thing you could do.

You can send away your scholarship application as early as junior year. High school seniors can apply a full year before the start of the course they hope to attend.

Send Many

It’s unusual to get all the money you need to attend college from a single scholarship. To gather enough money from numerous sources, apply for as many education scholarships as you can, no matter the size.

There’s no limit to the number of college grants you can apply for, so apply, apply, apply!

Here are 5 popular education grants you should know about.

Get Recommended

Think about who can speak to your strengths and who will be a compelling voice in your corner. It can be teachers, employers, community members, anyone who knows you and can testify to how worthy you are of an education grant.

Collect letters of recommendations from as many of these people as you can. Provide them with as much information and resources as they need and make sure you thank them profusely!

Make Your Essay Stand Out

A great essay will help your application stand out from the crowd. There are lots of ways you can approach the essay portion, but always make sure you are answering the question being asked.

Make it your own. Show off your writing skills by, instead of answering the question in a straightforward style, tell the story of a personal experience that shows why you are applying. 

Look at some successful scholarship application examples and try to emulate them in your own style.

Apply for Local College Scholarships

No scholarship is too small. Every little helps when it comes to gathering the funds you need.

An advantage of applying for local scholarships is that instead of competing with thousands of applicants across the country, you are up against significantly less competition.

Find What Sets You Apart

Making your application memorable is your best chance of winning. Remember, the committee has to process a lot of applications so do your best to make yours as interesting and impactful as possible.

Get Feedback

One of the worst things you can do is send your application away then realize you’ve made some silly mistakes, like spelling and grammar.

To avoid this, proofread your application again and again. Then get your friends to proofread it. Then get your family to proofread it. Make doubly sure it is clear, concise, and conveys your personality while highlighting your best academic qualities.

Eyes on the Prize

Stay vigilant. If you are sending away multiple applications, chances are you’ll receive rejections. The best thing you can do is to not be discouraged. There is always another college scholarship out there.

A lot of this might seem like a tall order but if you put in the work you can and will be granted those scholarships. 

If you found this article helpful, check out our other education and finance content.

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